The government of India issued a press release1 on 4 June 2021, that takes into account the difficulties being faced by foreign nationals in getting their visas extended in India due to the lockdown and mobility restrictions.

WHY THIS MATTERS

Many foreign nationals and employers were concerned about the visa extension compliance due to additional unplanned days spent in India on account of the suspension of commercial flight operations.

The press release provides some welcome clarity for cases where individuals have needed to spend additional days in India due to COVID-19-related travel and “stay at home” restrictions.  The plans will reduce the compliance burden on foreign nationals.

Background

The government of India has regularly come out with travel advisories and orders relating to visa on account of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.  (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-239, 20 May 2020.)

As per one of the orders issued on 29 June 2020, the Indian visa or stay stipulation period of foreign nationals expiring after 30 June 2020, was to be deemed to be valid until 30 more days from the date of resumption of normal international flight operations.

The above order led to a situation where foreign nationals had been applying for extensions of their visas or stay stipulation periods on a monthly basis.  

Extension of Visas of Stranded Foreign Nationals in India

  • As per the press release, the Indian visa or stay stipulation period for foreign nationals stranded in India will be considered as valid until 31 August 2021, without the levying of any over-stay penalty.
  • Foreign nationals will not be required to submit any application to the FRRO/FRO concerned for extensions of their visas.
  • Such foreign nationals may apply for an exit permission to the FRRO/FRO concerned before exiting the country, which would be granted without the levying of any over-stay penalty.

KPMG NOTE

It is important to note that the press release provides only for an extension in terms of one’s right to stay in India.  Foreign nationals should apply to the FRRO/FRO concerned for exit permission in case they wish to exit the country during the period.

RELATED RESOURCE

This article is excerpted, with permission, from “Visas of Foreign Nationals Stranded in India Due to Covid Extended till 31 August,” in Tax Flash News (7 June 2021), a publication of the KPMG International member firm in India.  

* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services.  However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.  

 

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in India.

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